Northern spring soon
Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP said the Government
will soon achieve a Northern spring by granting all facilities for the
Northern people while restoring the Yal Devi service gradually upto
Addressing a ceremony organized to mark the historic journey of the
Yal Devi beyond Vavuniya upto Thandikuam after 20 years, on Saturday, he
said that the new sound of the Yal Devi will herald the arrival of the
Northern spring to the people of the North.
While restoring the rail track gradually upto KKS, already many
bridges, electricity facilities, the Medawachchiya-Mannar main road,
Mannar-Pooneryn main road, several irrigation schemes including
Iranamadu and Yoda Wewa are under construction for the benefit of the
Furthermore, we have already initiated a number of projects to
improve the infrastructure facilities including other basic facilities
like health, education, electricity and drinking water for the wellbeing
and welfare of the people living in the five districts of Killinochchi,
Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Jaffna and Mannar in the North.
As an initial step, the Engineering Division of Sri Lanka Army is
engaged in removing landmines and once this is over, the resettlement of
the Internally Displaced People would begin, as the first phase had
already started from the Silavathura area.
He further said that the Government has already taken steps to look
after the IDPs to its maximum while each of the nearly 300,000 have
already been provided with proper shelter. Transport Minister Dullas
Alahapperuma said that resuming of the journey of the Yal Devi beyond
Vavuniya upto Thandikulam after 20 years represents a historical
landmark and an occasion that gives considerable pride to the entire
nation. He said Yal Devi is not just a train, it symbolizes the ending
of the unfortunate war while starting a new journey that would unite the
entire nation after 20 years.
Today, we see a new link that joins the palmyrah tree of the North
with the coconut tree of the South, he said.
The Yal Devi has fulfilled her responsibilities of building
religious, cultural and social ties among Tamils and Sinhalese.
“After 20 years, all of us have been able to travel together in the
Yal Devi due to the elimination of terrorism by our heroic Armed Forces
under the command of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Commanders of the
Three Forces,” the Minister noted.
He said that the North-South Friendship Railway Project, Uthuru
Mithuru was started after President Rajapaksa donated his one month’s
salary to the project on April 23 with the objective of rebuilding by
starting with the commissioning of the country’s Yal Devi railway track
to link it with the South.
He said it is estimated that a total cost for the rehabilitation of a
single line track from Vavuniya to KKS with buildings is Rs. 14,500
million. The Government will construct the first section from Vavuniya
with its own funds while breakup of the line of 160km track has been
divided to 10 sections of approximately 16km length for purpose of
reconstruction through foreign and local funds for each of these
Therefore, the Transport Ministry has issued the ticket naming
Hadavathata ticket ekak each costing Rs. 1,000 to be collected for the
The ticket will be valid for a single journey from Colombo to Jaffna
once the restoration of the railway track is completed. The ticket can
be purchased at any Railway Station in the country. The Minister also
invited public contribution towards the completion of the project.
He said that the restoration of the Northern tack is thus one of the
first and necessary pre-requisites for lasting peace between